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  #1  
Old 04-15-2010
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Question Jacklines...alternative rope ideas?

From other postings about this subject, I have seen that jacklines need to have several important features:
1. good static load strength
2. good dynamic load strength
3. Reduced trip-ability
4. low friction

So, this lead me to look at climbing webbing and climbing cords

What I would like to know is if anyone has used either or both of these type of cords before to make jacklines and what they might have seen as advantages/disadvantages etc.

My intended usage: keeping the 3 year-old as well as the occasional klutzy adult from launching overboard on near-shore cruising day-trips.

links for the cordage I have looked at:

webbing: BlueWater 1'' Climb-Spec Tubular Webbing at REI.com

cordage: PMI Accessory Cord - 8mm at REI.com

cordage: Beal Accessory Cord - 9mm - Save 80%
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Old 04-15-2010
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I guess you can look at the climbing line. But there certainly are good choices available from many marine chandleries, with properly rated (ORC) stitching and shackles.

Sailnet sells the Wichard jacklines.

Sailnet doesn't show a photo, but here is what they look like: Wichard JAcklines

Wichard also seems to be offering an improved jackline, which can be seen here in the brochure.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Flat webbing has the advantage that it will not roll under foot and it does have reasonably good shock absorbing capacity. We made our jack lines from this material: 2 x 300' Nylon Webbing - Yellow (Economy) [LDNYLON2300] - $108.40 : Ratchet Straps, Tie Down Straps, E Track Tie Downs, Moving Blankets & Pads, Cargo Straps, U.S. Cargo Control which has a breaking strength rating of 7,000 per inch (of width) and, being yellow, is easy to see at night. It is inexpensive enough that it is not costly to replace as necessary and we do so every year or so depending upon exposure to the sun. (Of course, we don't leave it rigged all the time, just when we're aboard and going to sea or, inshore if the weather looks like it may get snotty.)

If you are sailing with a young child, having him/or her tethered to a jack-line is wise. When our daughter was very small, we also had nylon netting attached between the deck and the top life-lines and were quite glad we did as it help keep child, dogs and toys aboard.

FWIW...
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Old 04-15-2010
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The best jacklines I've seen were made from 1/4" spectra line that was run through polyester tubular webbing. The webbing acted as UV/Chafe protection for the spectra line and made it less likely to roll underfoot and the line gave it a lot of strength. WHile this is a bit more expensive than just webbing, it has the advantage of lasting a lot longer.

If you go with webbing, make sure that you put a few twists in it so that it doesn't vibrate.
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Old 04-15-2010
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We've got the Wichard LyfSafe kit. An absolute mongrel of a thing to install correctly and I'm not all that happy with the tensioning. Its something I'll be looking at before our next offshore jaunt.

SD...I do like that idea of Spectra inside tubular webbing. When it comes time to replace the Wichard webbing (something I suppose I'll do each year) then I reckon thats the way I'd go.

http://www.wichard.com/fiche-A|WICHARD|7052-0203020000000000-ME.html

The instructions that come with the Lyf'Safe are hopeless. Less than useless in fact. First time we tried it did not feel right so we ran a test while anchored. Thankfully the water was warm.

On line there are much better instructions that actually make sense.

That said it seems to me that paying for a commercially produced kit means you spend way to much for the thing and could DIY better and cheaper.
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Old 04-15-2010
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I put together a long post on this you might find interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiltmadoc View Post
From other postings about this subject, I have seen that jacklines need to have several important features:
1. good static load strength
2. good dynamic load strength
3. Reduced trip-ability
4. low friction

So, this lead me to look at climbing webbing and climbing cords

What I would like to know is if anyone has used either or both of these type of cords before to make jacklines and what they might have seen as advantages/disadvantages etc.

My intended usage: keeping the 3 year-old as well as the occasional klutzy adult from launching overboard on near-shore cruising day-trips.

links for the cordage I have looked at:

webbing: BlueWater 1'' Climb-Spec Tubular Webbing at REI.com

cordage: PMI Accessory Cord - 8mm at REI.com

cordage: Beal Accessory Cord - 9mm - Save 80%
Let me say this up-front; the post is for a catamaran, and the wider decks change the rules a bit.

Sail Delmarva: Climbing Gear for Sailors; or Jacklines and Harnesses for the Unemployed

Regarding climbing webbing, it does not handle sun so well. I would not trust it beyond 2 seasons if left in the sun full time summer only, 1 season if year-round. That said, no webbing is great in the sun, as they are thin and the UV penetrates a more significant portion than a rope. That's why SD's webbing covered spectra is logical... just expensive.

On the other hand, climbing webbing is cheap and can be replaced yearly. Not so bad.

Given they are for a small child, I am assuming you want to leave them rigged all the time. We do.

Climbing rope and climbing lines in general are not great for continuous use in the sun; UV resistance is not as good as yacht braids because it is not a priority. I have used both side by side. They are fine for tethers and harnesses, which will not see the continuous, unmoving hours in the sun.

Climbing rope itself is far to elastic. low-stretch yacht lines are better, but bad if you walk on them. They are acceptable if they are rigged off walking surfaces, which depends on the boat.

Get a good body harness with a crotch strap for the kid. I used a harness a lot with my daughter, but you must be mindful that kids can worm out of anything and that a small child requires continuous watching; even the tether can be a choking hazard.

Just trying to scare you, I guess . Have a nice summer.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 04-15-2010 at 09:24 PM. Reason: info
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Old 04-16-2010
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Frankly, for short day trips, trying to keep a child from falling overboard, the REI webbing would probably work just fine. I have some on my boat, cot was less than $20 IIRC. Pop them on deck for windier wavy days, when we would prefer to know we will keep the foredeck folks on deck, and if they do slip, they stay with the boat, vs getting washed over into 40F temp water! This is the year around temp!

Now if you were going offshore for days/weeks at a time, in heavy wind weather etc..........spend the money on the better marine quality webbing. Then again, I have hung from the REI webbing off of rocks 2K and 3K feet from where I would land if I was not hanging by the REI webbing.......So needless to say, I do trust it.

As mentioned, get a good PFD for the child, hook them up on deck, also look at the nylon webbing mentioned, we are thinking about it to keep our KC Cavalier on board when at the dock etc.

Marty
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Old 04-16-2010
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I agree with the strength - it is all about whether they are rigged all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Frankly, for short day trips, trying to keep a child from falling overboard, the REI webbing would probably work just fine. I have some on my boat, cot was less than $20 IIRC. Pop them on deck for windier wavy days, when we would prefer to know we will keep the foredeck folks on deck, and if they do slip, they stay with the boat, vs getting washed over into 40F temp water! This is the year around temp!

Now if you were going offshore for days/weeks at a time, in heavy wind weather etc..........spend the money on the better marine quality webbing. Then again, I have hung from the REI webbing off of rocks 2K and 3K feet from where I would land if I was not hanging by the REI webbing.......So needless to say, I do trust it.

As mentioned, get a good PFD for the child, hook them up on deck, also look at the nylon webbing mentioned, we are thinking about it to keep our KC Cavalier on board when at the dock etc.

Marty
I too have hung on REI webbing, way up there. My concern is that I have also pulled out slings from anchors with my bare hands. How old? Probably 15 years. I've used climbing webbing on board for many things, but chafe guards are the man use. After ~ 10 years, it is getting pretty weak.

Are they going to be left rigged all the time? I did with children, because it doesn't take waves, just playful inattention. If they are going to be removed and only used occasionally, then the Climb Spec webbing is perfect and will be reliable for many years. Webbing climbing gear is expected to last 5-10 years of rough weekend use, depending on the extent.
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Old 04-16-2010
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pd,

While I may be incorrect on the OP's use, I think the main thing is to keep said inattentive child on the boat for daysails. In which case, frankly, if taken on and off the boat for the sails the child is onboard, the REI webbing is more than fine. Hence why I also stated, if going off shore etc, then get the webbing designed to be used for jacklines.

I too have pulled webbing apart with my bare hands, obviously at that state, it is rather weak, and one would not want to trust it.

There are times I feel when we answer some of these types of questions, that we put more into the question than we should. at times we should, others, take the question at face value and come up with a simple cost effective solution, which frankly, I feel the climbing webbing with appropriate precautions will be more than ample for the OPs needs.

now to go deal with my blinking dog that woke me up at 3am! grrrrrrrrrrrr

Marty
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Old 04-16-2010
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Isn't that the truth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post

There are times I feel when we answer some of these types of questions, that we put more into the question than we should. at times we should, others, take the question at face value and come up with a simple cost effective solution....
My dog got me up at 4:30am. Grrrrr.
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